Report: Armstrong under federal investigation for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation
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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Report: Armstrong under federal investigation for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation

by Shane Stokes at 5:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Texan back in hot water; SCA Promotions also confirms it will launch case today against former pro

Lance ArmstrongUS Attorney for Southern California Andre Birotte’s statement yesterday that Lance Armstrong would not face criminal investigation has been contradicted by an anonymous source, who has confirmed that the Texan is being scrutinised by federal agents from another area.

“Birotte does not speak for the federal government as a whole,” that source told ABC News. “Agents are actively investigating Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation.”

The source agreed to speak providing his name and position was not used.

The actions which led to those areas of the investigation have not been revealed. However former US Postal Service team-mate Tyler Hamilton said that he was threatened by Armstrong in June 2011, with his ex-team captain challenging him in the Cache Cache restaurant in Aspen.

At the time Armstrong was under federal investigation and Hamilton was a witnesses, meaning that the interference was potentially a federal offence. It is not clear if agents feel that other individuals were also threatened, and if the obstruction charges could refer to a separate action.

Birotte shelved the first federal investigation on February 3rd of last year. This took many by surprise, including the federal investigators such as Jeff Novitzky who had worked for a long time to build a case and who were reportedly furious that their action was stopped.

They reportedly received just fifteen minutes notice that Birotte was ending their work.

Yesterday he spoke at a news conference in Washington. “We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago,” he said, according to Reuters. “Obviously, we've been well aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does not change my view at this time.”

His view may not have changed, but it appears that federal investigators in another area have decided that there may be sufficient grounds to pursue Armstrong, who could potentially face jail time if he is found guilty.

SCA Promotions confirms it will launch case today against Armstrong:

SCA PromotionsMeanwhile representatives from the SCA Promotions company have confirmed to VeloNation that they will today launch a case against Armstrong for refusing to repay bonuses the company handed out to him in 2006.

“We plan to finalize our petition in the morning and file tomorrow,” SCA’s Jeff Dorough said late yesterday.

In October Dorough told VeloNation that the company had sent a demand letter for a total of $12 million. He also confirmed at the time that SCA ‘may seek legal sanctions and penalties against Mr. Armstrong in connection with the false testimony given by him in 2005-2006 arbitration proceeding.”

That proceeding was held after Armstrong and his representatives contested an SCA decision to withhold bonus payments on the grounds that they believed he may have used performance enhancing drugs to win his Tours.

SCA eventually lost that case because the original contract between itself and Tailwind Sports, the US Postal Service team’s owners, did not stipulate that the Tours had to be won clean.

Following the handing down of a life ban to Armstrong, Roopstigo journalist Selena Roberts reported in November that Armstrong’s representatives proposed to SCA that they would repay $1 million, an offer which was unsurprisingly rejected.

This month, Armstrong’s attorney Tim Herman told USA Today Sports that Armstrong had no intention of accepting SCA’s demands.

“My only point is no athlete ever, to my understanding, has ever gone back and paid back his compensation,” he said. “Not (New Orleans Saints coach) Sean Payton or anybody else. They were suspended, but nobody said you've got to give your paycheck back.”

He also claimed that the previous settlement terms said that the case cannot be reopened. He added that the money went to Tailwind Sports rather than directly to the Texan.

“The bottom line is that Tailwind bought the (insurance) policy (from SCA),” he stated. “Tailwind paid the premium. Tailwind made the claim, and the money (from SCA) was paid to Tailwind, not Lance Armstrong. I'm sure people will characterize that as a loophole, but it's a pretty significant factor.”

SCA Promotions feels this is not a sufficient defence and today will be bringing their action against the former pro.

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